Let’s Talk About Siliconia (on UKTV Play)

The following article is intended for those watching at UKTV Play pace. Dave viewers be warned that the content and comments could contain spoilers. More info.

The time is [INSERT TIME HERE], and The One Where Everyone’s Kryten is now available to watch on UKTV Play. Of course, up until now, we didn’t know whether this would happen before or after Cured aired on Dave. But now that we know that it’s [BEFORE / AFTER – DELETE AS APPROPRIATE], it’s clear that this was a fucking [INSERT OPINION HERE] decision. But regardless of that, fill your boots:

[INSERT LINK HERE]

Please make use of this thread to share all your thoughts on this long-awaited episode, and don’t miss our LIVE Instant Reaction DwarfCast at 9pm on Friday. We’ll have a much healthier contingent of G&Ters on board this week, and in an exciting new feature, we’ll be taste-testing some real life Leopard Lager LIVE on air. You don’t want to miss that, so look out for the link on here, on our Twitter feed and our Spreaker page at 8:40pm, and do join us to listen along and chat live.

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252 Responses to Let’s Talk About Siliconia (on UKTV Play)

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  1. The omm song :)

  2. I THINK THE FIRST TWO IS IN IIII JUST CROSSED DIFFERENTLY. I MAY JUST BE PARANOID.

  3. oh bloody hell, it’s a callback to that one scene from Fathers and Suns

  4. It definitely makes sense for Siliconia to have been placed after Cured if there’s not going to be any sort of twist. Which there probably will be.

  5. Nice tractor beam, there.

  6. It’s on Sky now but the description is that of M-Corp, wouldn’t have surprised me if they’d uploaded episode 5 by mistake!

  7. Loved Cured on first watch. Not feeling this yet… Hopefully the last ten mins will pick up. Some nice incidental series 2 music.

  8. jesus, so far this episode has an almost sci-fi horror vibe, some of these scenes are actually quite a bit scary

  9. Enjoyed all of series 11, and cured made me laugh a lot. Siliconia… what a load of crap that was. Didn’t laugh once. Really hope it improves on further viewings. :(

  10. I really, really enjoyed that, and it did what none of the last 7 episodes did very well, which was have a good ending.

    As in, that was really, really, good.

    It’ll take me another watch to quite understand what Siliconia had to do with it though.

  11. Absolutely spectacular. Loved it to bits. On first viewing I’d say it is only behind Give & Take up to now in this 12 episode run.

    Chris Barrie’s audiobook Kryten is now canon!

  12. Visually an impressive episode

    I was enjoying it and felt it was fairly well paced up until the clean off ended and then the ending was rushed and kinda spoilt it.

    Everything that was built up just went no where because time ran out.

  13. Really, really enjoyed that!

  14. Yeesh. Not keen on that one at all. Didn’t even seem to be trying to be funny. If you don’t find the phrase MILF funny, or the appeal of seeing Chris, Craig and Danny in make-up, it doesn’t have a huge amount going for it.

    I liked the counseling meeting (the droid leading it was the best of guest-stars), I liked the opening scene. I didn’t like much else.

    Danny was good. Craig seemed to be struggling with enunciating with all that make-up. And Chris…erm… well, I’m not sure the impersonation of Robert playing Kryten was really a good idea. it just came across as what it was; rather than an actual performance.

    Nice locations…a fairly interesting idea. But it goes somewhere only vaguely interesting, fails to generate much in the way of laughs, and then stops.

    I would label the ending with the upgrades as a deus ex machina, but people will probably hurl things at me. I’ll just call it “rather shit” instead.

    In summary; a bit pants, frankly.

  15. Oh, so Lister IS crap at the guitar again. Continuity!

    I really enjoyed that, possibly more than any other Red Dwarf episode made since 1993.

  16. Enjoyed that, I did. Shame about the constant buffering, maybe I can watch again tomorrow sometime.

    But yes, very good. I’ve had a large grin on my face for the past half hour. :D

  17. I actually didn’t mind chris doing an impression of kryten, although it could be questioned why none of the other droids sounded like kryten in that case.

    It was interesting to see a live action Chris doing a kryten impression in full.

    Although i do wish the guest stars did try and sound like droids since they sounded too normal with various british accents.

  18. Hmmm. Not sure. Need a rewatch on that one. Couldn’t quite get a handle on Craig’s performance to tell you the truth. And some of the make up was distractingly dodgy. Definitely preferred Cured.

  19. Looking back through these comments just now… there’s quite a large swing between opinions, isn’t there? A bit of a Marmite episode, it would seem.

  20. “It’s almost to the day that we flushed it into space”

    Huh?

  21. Lister did look a bit like his head was melting towards the end.

  22. i am never one to post negative things usually, i am a big fan of the dave era dwarf even the lesser of those episodes ( Dear Dave has some huge laugh out loud moments)

    unless it is me and i am just tired… i did just sit through that episode and not laugh out loud once :( and i am totally gutted.

    and the last 5 minutes felt so massively rushed and contrived, on first viewing it was fairly disappointing, but will give it another go in the morning.

    absolutely love XI & Last weeks episode but i think it is really starting to show they they are trying to cram so much into 27-28 minutes.

  23. That’s 2 out of 2 for me so far. Really enjoyed both episodes to date. I was at the recording for Siliconia and thought I remembered James Buckley having a larger role so either a sketchy memory or cutting room floor job.

  24. Yeah the ending was very rushed and everything got sorted out abit to quick and easy.

  25. Unpopular opinion: Cured was quite crap, and Siliconia was really, really good.

  26. G&T Admin

    I *really* liked that.

  27. Well I’m hoping that it improves when I watch it again tomorrow with fresh eyes. The joke at the start when it cut to poster being on the sofa was funny when I saw it in the preview, and the image of Rimmer rimmering was decent. But I generally thought the laughs dried up when the other droids appeared.

  28. Well I just wish I had a way of watching this on my TV in good quality. I really find it hard to enjoy watching stuff on my laptop.

    Really wasn’t a fan of this though a second watch of Cured did wonders for it so hopefully this will be a similar situation. Honestly, I thought this was lacking in gags and though it had some interesting story points they just weren’t developed enough. Loved the guitar retrieval but it did mean we were a quarter of the way through the episode before the boys got on the Mech ship. Some of my favourite stuff was in that opening but it still feels like time that could have been better spent elsewhere.

  29. And siliconia just happened to appear at the end, after all these years, just in time. Maybe I missed something…

  30. There were some monologues that deserved cutting, but there were a load of laughs, even without me laughing at MILF once. I honestly think people went in thinking ‘oh no, it’s everybody’s Kryten’ and expecting a bad episode. The only thing that really seemed wrong with the ending for me was that there could have been a better way to distract all the other mechs. Otherwise, it seemed well-fit and as though staying mechs for much longer or much shorter wouldn’t have made for a very good episode, it was the right point to have them all saved.

  31. Lister did look a bit like his head was melting towards the end.

    Yeah, there was that. Although, at least Listerbot *did* look like Craig in the episode after all.

  32. Sometimes nice things just happen at exactly the right time after years of not happening so far! That can happen! That’s a thing that happens!

  33. The everyone becomes kryten idea could have gone wrong soooo easy but i think Doug made it work decent enough.

  34. when it cut to poster being on the sofa

    Ah, yes, the crew of Red Dwarf: poster, critter, twat, and kremlin.

  35. Loved the guitar retrieval but it did mean we were a quarter of the way through the episode before the boys got on the Mech ship.

    An episode of Red Dwarf taking a while to get around to the main plot? Never.

  36. when the clean-off starts, Lister’s personality has completely changed and he’s suddenly into cleaning, yet 5 minutes later when he’s back in his human body he’s more or less back to normal and he’s suddenly into playing guitar again?

  37. Very pleased to see some nice model work, the best in the Dave era for me. It seemed like they really lavished some time on them, less flat images getting smaller to signify flying away.

    The stuff on Red Dwarf was good too, the rest of the ep is OK but pretty hollow once you get over the novelty of the guys in Kryten masks. Not bad though, few dodgy jokes, the first milf wasn’t too bad but the repeated sayings were a bit much, also not sure about the ‘Baby don’t be ovulating tonight’ and the ‘spin my nipple nuts’ esque lines but OK overall, just a little forgettable.

    Prefer it to last week’s just for the nice visuals, but basically as solid as Cured.

  38. when the clean-off starts, Lister’s personality has completely changed and he’s suddenly into cleaning, yet 5 minutes later when he’s back in his human body he’s more or less back to normal and he’s suddenly into playing guitar again?

    I Think there was meant to be a time gap there.

  39. I think we have a contender for worst episode ever. Boring and unfunny. It just didn’t work.

    As well as simply having a dull script, I don’t think it was helped by every character being buried beneath mountains of rubber. It made for a very disengaging performance.

  40. the first few minutes i thought were decent, Rimmer “Rimmering” and the build up to them going to the ship, once the other mechs appeared, it just did not hook me, i was expecting to be in hysterics at the sight of the all Krytened up , and it .. didn’t .. i have no idea why, them slowly turning more mechanical did not come across in that way to me, it just seemed like them struggling to adjust to acting it ( which i get is kind of the point but still)

    Picky Thought of the day : so after ” Fathers & Suns” they spent 6 months on earth in 23 Ad in lemons and an unknown amount of time ( potentially years or hundreds of years) in stasis going to meet Butler in Krysis and then come across Listers Guitar ?

  41. Felt it was a bit of a mess really, the only genuine laugh was Listerbot being unable to say smeg head.
    Perhaps I’m oversensitive but the group meeting felt a bit like it was belittling abuse survivors meetings with the “it’s not my fault line” if they’d left that bit out it would have been fine.

  42. I thought the story was ok and all the effects/makeup work was pretty good. Unfortunately I just didn’t think it was very funny.

    There were a couple of good little gags like Starbug’s retractable claw or Cat’s brain-transfer Ping, and I liked Rimmer’s vocal transformation (and earlier, his very Rimmer pronunciation of JackArse). But it was all stuff that made me smile a bit rather than ever really laughing.

  43. Man, UKTV are a real tease in the way that they release the first episode nice and early on Thursday, but then revert to posting it late evening (or just unpredictably all over the place) for episodes 2-6.

    The part of me that desperately wants to see new Red Dwarf as soon as it’s available and the part of me that wants to watch new Red Dwarf properly – on the main living room TV after tea, not hunched over my laptop in the middle of a weeknight – are currently bare-knuckle boxing, and it’s getting ugly.

    Yes, I know that they do this so the public attention isn’t drawn too much away from the episode being shown on Dave, but if they care about that they should try debuting their major original programming on television instead. It’d be bold and experimental, but it just might work!

  44. Oh, yeah. Lister’s frequent “Kryten style-sayings”. That got old before it started.

    >Sometimes nice things just happen at exactly the right time after years of not happening so far! That can happen! That’s a thing that happens!

    Sure. Just not in fiction, please.

    >at least Listerbot *did* look like Craig in the episode after all.

    I still couldn’t recognise him in there.

  45. I suspect they waited until after zapped as to not take away any potential audience from that.

  46. Picky thought of the day: the way the line is said, it seems it’s just been a year. I suppose they returned to just about the same time when they came back to the ship in Lemons, given that everything wasn’t covered in 6 months of dust. Also, nobody said the stasis in Krysis was all that long, it was just urgent that they not mess anything up with Kryten in an unstable state. It makes perfect sense for the ship to be fairly close to the guitar still.

  47. My initial thoughts: pretty good.

    The good:
    Make-up and costumes were great, this must have been a fucking NIGHTMARE to organise.
    The group therapy scene was great.
    Rimmer wanting to stay mech’d was unexpected and well handled.
    Danny, again, knocking it out the park.
    Claw grabbers were great.

    The not so good:
    The lead MILF had some unwieldy cut-worthy dialogue. I kept tuning out.
    Which is why I think I missed the siliconia exposition… cos it just appearing at the end was a bit convenient.
    Would have liked payoff for them all getting their bodies back.
    Neat to see the guitar but how…? They’ve been in stasis in Krysis for years! I thought I was over the continuity in this programme but I clearly am not!

    Overall I think I’ll gel with it better on subsequent viewings.

  48. All you people watching on laptops, time to get a HDMI lead!

  49. I liked it. Probably the most visually impressive episode of the Dave era thus far. I was really worried about this but it turned out better than I thought. I was expecting James Buckley to have a bigger role than he had and a bit disappointed there wasn’t more of him. Danny was bloody good with the voice for Catbot! I’m going to have to listen closely again but the music score during Rimmerbot’s monologue sounded so similar to the library music used in the funeral scene in The End Re-mastered.

    Is just me who thought Listerbot looked a lot like Spare Head Three whenever Craig scrunched his face in the mask?

    Not a bad episode or the “worst ever”, but some of the performances do go a bit OTT for me at some points. Of the three, I’d say Craig wasn’t really the best at doing a Kryten-like voice.

  50. just re watched the scene
    ” almost to the day since it got flushed into space”

    they kind of covered their tracks there by not stating how many years, could be 1 could be 5.

    temped to watch it again now but will do so again in the morning. hopefully it will come across better then,

    i enjoyed ” Cured” a lot on my first viewing .. but have watched it twice since and liked it more each time, hopefully the same happens with this one.

  51. All that stuff with why rimmer was happy being a mechanoid didn’t go anywhere since it was never mentioned again and he just sat happily back in the chair to return to his normal body

  52. I’d say Craig wasn’t really the best at doing a Kryten-like voice.

    As anyone who’s listened to Last Human will tell you.

  53. G&T Admin

    I have some opinions.

  54. all that stuff with why rimmer was happy being a mechanoid didn’t go anywhere since it was never mentioned again and he just sat happily back in the chair to return to his normal body

    Seems like story arcs longer than 28 minutes are forbidden. Think BtE has largely put Dave off the multiparter or real links between episodes.

  55. Watching it back I just noticed Cat sliding his own hands into the restraints on the recalibration chair. He’s a one.

  56. “All you people watching on laptops, time to get a HDMI lead!”

    I started watching Cured through the HDMI lead last week but the low quality UKTV stream looks better on my smaller laptop screen then blown up on my 55″ telly. I’ll definitely be purchasing the Blu Ray or some HD downloads when the series is done.

  57. I can’t decide whether that was a triumph, or gobsmackingly awful, or both.

    The crux of it was that it was an unengaging, incoherent story with very few laughs, and too much boring mumbling through poorly-adhered rubber masks (bet it all read better on the page). BUT we had some of the most beautiful visuals Red Dwarf has ever seen, some gorgeous direction, some truly memorable imagery, some great music, and by far the best model shots since VI. Its ambition was never less than admirable, a rare example of the TV show conceptually aiming as high as the novels, and I’m so glad they had a go at it. It’s exactly what Red Dwarf should be doing.

    I still didn’t enjoy it though. Whatsoever. I also want to watch it again. I don’t know what I think. This was the episode I was least worried about. That was an incorrect assumption.

    Fuck, this one’s broken me. As the token fan on here of both Beyond A Joke and Krytie TV, I think I may have finally found a Kryten episode I dislike. That said, I am still definitely glad they made it.

  58. Forgot to mention .. Stunning Model work and Visuals though !!

  59. Of the three, I’d say Craig wasn’t really the best at doing a Kryten-like voice.

    I was faintly amazed he reprised his version of Kryten specifically from the Last Human audiobook. Whilst no Barrie-esque impersonation, it works very well in that at capturing Kryten’s character. It was bloody weird here though.

  60. Incredible.

    I look forward to watching that a few more times, and chatting about it. such an interesting one.

    I know it’s an episode that’s going to take time to get used to and bed in as its in some ways like no other Red Dwarf I’ve ever seen. I’m not going to draw parallels to old episodes as we normally point to first though there are some you could make.,
    Nor mention the call backs I’ll save that for later or leave that to others, as there are a few and I enjoyed them.

    I’m not going to praise it as a really funny episode, it was more chucklesome and open mouthed or eyes wide reaction from me was more what it got. But i feel i’ve waited years for this episode after it’s first roots of conception and mentions of it and that episode didn’t disappoint but neither was it quite what i expected either. I feel it was brilliantly made, and incredibly strong on story and loved it’s questioning of Krytens role and Rimmers wishing to be some one else. No doubt the plot or such will still be picked apart by fans not happy with that episode, but I just adore this for it being One central idea explored by Doug in some unique ways and nothing sub plotty or wikipediaish that a few of his recent speeches have sounded like in characters mouths since series X. He mined a central theme here uniquely with his choices of what he wanted to explore in mechanoid lore in the show and i applaud that massively. The rest was me remaining a bit stunned by the big factor here.

    The mechifacation factor – Danny and Chris (more obviously) were great as both mech and as mech-sub-kryten-like. And im stunned at how chris barrie wearing a kryten suit and mask and then doing the kryten impression = still not kryten. Some will say his impression was off, but i dont believe that I just think his face remains so chris barrie! When he is playing RimmerMech it’s brilliant done that way, cus we can see chris and rimmer through the mask, its very funny, but when he adds the voice and we have Rimmer-mech-sub-kryten mode his face doesnt help him sell that change at all, it keeps him too rimmer, and if they were making an episode where chris is genuinely playing kryten say, you would mold the mask differently for that. Like that way we see actors in prosthetic on TV being other people deliberately some times. So that was a surprise. Danny is better as you have low expectation of his performing a kryten impression at all, yet does a good one when called upon and it some how works with less face acting coming from him.

    Then we have Craig. Im still unable to process wether he was totally shit, totally brilliant, totally ill, or even in there at all.

    Something about his face shape, possibly his weight around this time, and i really dont mean to be mean in that comment, and even the move from dreadlock lister to bald lister, some how the character dissapears in a way the others weirdly dont quite. I mean ok we wont be debating chris barries wig in this one! And the cat should really disappear going from cool clothes to standard mech and no hair, but weirdly the teeth being there, the cats character being a big face acting part it all still comes through. Craig and modern lister is a subtle face acted role and the features dont register across a mask easy. Lister is well written to carry the central pillar of saving the day and his relationship with Kryten comes across in whats there but i spent the whole time watching the episode trying to get a handle on what the performance craig is doing is. I worry they didnt nail it, and that it’s a mixture of genetic fact, time spent in rubber rehearsing, and direction here effecting this performance. I hope im wrong and in time its something i get more used to. Well done all of them for having a go, i wait to see the dvd documentary on this episode.

    None of the guest mechs really stand out much. Functional characters. Shame cus butler was so good last series.

    Lastly bobby you were good, amongst an episode full of krytens you are rather overlooked but that will come across better come many rewatches to try and get my head around this one! Aye theres the rubber!!

  61. Firstly a great Episode! It just felt right.
    I know this is a debatable subject, and can be difficult. But I would still like to know why Craig’s Mechanoid is the same colour as the rest? Even from the publicity shots I mentioned this, but possibly thought it wasn’t him under the rubber, but it was. But even more surprised that cat is the only black mech in the whole show, and possibly the universe! Lets remember that the classic Red Dwarf episodes were not a wow what a instant hit from the first view, they need to grow, and this Episode will grow, in time.

  62. I honestly thought when the bright light started shining in on them at the end that Butler had arrived to sort them all out.

  63. Kryten’s knees looked absolutely mental when he was sitting in the therapy group. Like they were wearing little knee hats. Never noticed that before.

  64. Having watched it twice now, I can’t shake the feeling that I would have preferred a smaller scale, more focussed character episode called ‘The One Where Rimmers Kryten.’

  65. Really did the stuff with kryten self help stuff really need to be there? just have the droids accept him as one of their own and have the others be taken away ect ect

    Definitely ways to trim the episode down abit.

  66. “All you people watching on laptops, time to get a HDMI lead!”

    I started watching Cured through the HDMI lead last week but the low quality UKTV stream looks better on my smaller laptop screen then blown up on my 55″ telly. I’ll definitely be purchasing the Blu Ray or some HD downloads when the series is done.

    Sky if you have it or maybe a NowTV entertainment pass, can usually get 3 months free for a first sign up.

    720p ish on Now TV I think, and I downloaded it on Sky On Demand and it looked great on a big 4K TV.

    Don’t know how people can watch it through stuttering and stuff on tiny screens.

    Actually, not sure if it’s on NowTV, I just assumed it is because that’s broadly similar to Sky On Demand content wise.

  67. Rubber said: I really enjoyed that, possibly more than any other Red Dwarf episode made since 1993.

    Well Rubber shares presumably went up a lot during the episode due to all the masks!

  68. Looking back through these comments just now… there’s quite a large swing between opinions, isn’t there? A bit of a Marmite episode, it would seem.

    Make me a load of sandwiches Si. Do as your told. Come along now.

  69. Marmite sandwiches?

  70. Having watched it twice now, I can’t shake the feeling that I would have preferred a smaller scale, more focussed character episode called ‘The One Where Rimmers Kryten.’

    Or they turn Kryten, one at a time, across an episode.

  71. Marmite sandwiches?

    Yes. And a picket fence of ……

    Oh dam it, I’ve just realised. We are Dwarf fans. We eat triple fried egg sandwiches with Chili Sauce and Chutney. Does this episode mean I’ve got to eat a Sugar Puff with grilled cheese sandwich. urgggh

  72. I’d say Craig wasn’t really the best at doing a Kryten-like voice.

    As anyone who’s listened to Last Human will tell you.

    I’ve had copies of the Last Human and Backwards audiobooks for nearly 5 years now. Still haven’t bloody listened to them.

  73. I have some opinions.

    That the trailer for a very long Dwarf Cast tomorrow John?

    Buckling up.

    I will be disappointed if, the cast having gone to this length to amuse us all incased in rubber, the dwarfcast cant at least stretch to Jonathan Capps incased in a gimp hood for the recording session.

  74. I’ve got to say, in the Lister is victorious shot from the trailer, I actually thought they were roasting a hollowed-out dead mechanoid on a stick for not adhering to a cult. So the horror aspect was relatively tame compared to what I’d expected.

  75. Oh wow! I didn’t just dislike this episode, I hated it! That’s rather harsh for me, but honestly I just couldn’t find anything to enjoy from it. The performances were awful, I didn’t laugh once, and the entire episode just felt like one stretched-out gimmick. I’m really, really disappointed by that. I really wanted to enjoy it but I can’t think of even one redeeming part.

    I hope my opinion changes on repeat viewing. I disliked Officer Rimmer first time round, and also on the first few rewatches infact. But watching it again just prior to Series XII I found myself really enjoying it. I hope Siliconia is a grower in the same way, but I think this is possibly the worst episode since Series VIII.

  76. I think this is possibly the best episode since series V.

    I’m going to regret saying that later, won’t I.

  77. Wow. These range of reactions. We’ve known for ages it’s “The one where everyone’s Kryten” and yet the reaction is still beyond comprehension at first with the final result in a lot of posts. “What? It’s like this?”

    I feel the line “I havn’t got the software to cope with this.” springs fittingly to mind.

  78. I liked it when Lister said smee.

  79. Chatting with Tim who went to the recording night, Listers song at the end that we hear a tiny bit of, was performed at a longer ending seen at the recording.

  80. I like the Asimov space core directive mash up, with Lister in the role Kryten normally played in that scenario.

  81. Really REALLY starting to wish XII was in more of a single-camera style. Several episodes from XI and XII (so far) would have hugely benefited, Siliconia being one of them. If anything this is a mash-up of VII and V, i.e. something I wasn’t expecting from this episode.

    Is it good?? I honestly don’t know. Was the cast being in Mechanoid makeup freaking me out a little?? Maybe…

    Once they become mechanoids it’s almost hard to concentrate on what’s going on cause all you’re doing is focussing on…the fact they’re mechanoids, how weird it looks, how the cast are gonna play it etc. This is entertaining in itself, I guess, but a decent story and some humour to back that up would have been nice as well. :) This is why single-camera with no audience WOULD have worked here, cause the laughs are few and far between (and Doug wouldn’t feel the need to cram in a gag, any gag, at certain points due to the fact you’ve got an audience in who you need to make laugh)

    The mop-off WAS very good though, I thought. The location, and the way it was handled, was spot on. Craig and Robert were good here too and it felt like a genuinely panicky situation. The ending…again, rushed as hell. Weird, seeing as it doesn’t even make the 28 minute mark…so you think why not let it breathe a little??

    3/5 maybe…..

  82. Definitely got more of the story, and non mech character parts coming through the initial shock/fun on a second viewing, theres a few things that only establish with one line or some subtle movements that arent easy to spot when you havnt canceled stare mode yet.

  83. Are the sunglasses purely a costume thing because they are “rebel” types, or is there a bit or make time saving going on here, not have to paint/glue around the eyes etc of actors.

  84. Are the sunglasses purely a costume thing because they are “rebel” types, or is there a bit or make time saving going on here, not have to paint/glue around the eyes etc of actors.

    My immediate reaction to that was “they didn’t want to blend the eyes” because I’ve seen too many DVD extras, but the costumes make sense for the characters too.

  85. I loved the return of the “smeeheee” joke to show that Lister was starting to become just another mechanoid. Nice call back, that. I must also remark that Chris’s Llewellyn-as-Kryten impression was also really nice.

  86. Did smee count as a smeg for the official smeg count?

  87. Help me out real quick.
    If the kind of vibe we get off the last few series was that X was kinda I-IIey in its own new way, and XI was either III-Vey or III-VIey in its own new way, does that mean that XII is what VII could have been if it hadn’t been crap? I’m definitely getting that vibe.

  88. Couple of thoughts from being at the recording:
    – Chris had been ill during the week and Doug mentioned there was some stuff they hadn’t been able to film. When Kryten leads the mech-converted crew into the machines to get their original bodies back, I presumed there was a scene missing where we saw them become human again. Instead the scene ends and we cut to Starbug leaving the ship – it feels very much like there’s something obviously missing in a similar way to the monkey turning into Professor E in “Entangled”, and I wonder if they had to give up shooting whatever was missing. (Not least because the plot of Rimmer wanting to stay a mechanoid is now completely abandoned.)
    – There was a BIG deleted scene at the end – not sure if I should describe it or not as this will surely show up on the deleted scenes. But it contains a nice callback to earlier in the episode, to some extent paid off the above mentioned abandoned plot, and got a great reception, so I’m surprised it got cut, especially when this episode runs quite short, and Kryten’s closing line about the soundproof airlock is a *really* weak line to go out on in comparison to the original. (It annoys me that you can hear the applause the original ending got at the start of the credits…)
    – The ‘Rimmering’ scene was responsible for possibly my favourite Smeg Up ever. Won’t describe it here in case it turns up on the DVD.
    – I think you can also quite distinctly hear me laughing in that scene.

  89. Kryten’s knees looked absolutely mental when he was sitting in the therapy group. Like they were wearing little knee hats. Never noticed that before.

    I think sitting down like that made the costume look odd in ways we don’t usually see.

    It made his whole torso shell ride up too, so his shoulder pads were about a foot higher than his actual shoulders. It looked like his arms were sticking out from halfway down his body.

  90. Wow, I’m really surprised at just how divisive the opinions are on this one!

    I thoroughly enjoyed “Siliconia”, much more so than “Cured”. It might even be one of my favourite episodes of the Dave era. The story concept was strong and all the major beats were hit without it feeling rushed. I found it very funny throughout and was glad to get some decent jokes right from the beginning (Lister couch gag tickled me).

    We got great performances from all of the cast – Craig was particularly good, I thought – and the guest stars were pretty good too. I admit that I was rather hoping for a Butler cameo…maybe it would turn out he was the real leader of the MILFs?

    There was some beautiful model work on display, definitely the best of the Dave era and light years ahead of anything from series 7 or 8. I also loved the location stuff for the gladiatorial cleaning – it looked wonderful, especially the lighting.

    I think the only complaint I have is that the final scene wasn’t strong enough. Needed more of a woofer to go out on as opposed to a fairly obvious punchline.

    SMALL POINT: Really liked the way that Rimmer, Lister and The Cat began to use less contractions as soon as they’d been turned into mechs, even before their personalities began to fade. Nice touch.

  91. As soon as I finished it, I thought to myself “Well that was pretty fucking fantastic. Now watch as everyone online hates it.”

  92. I think this episode was ok, I think it got hyped way out of proportion and didn’t quite live up, There were some good laughs but I think cured was a much stronger episode.

  93. As someone who has to had to sit through more than her fair share of dodgy support groups trying way too hard to force a sense of community with flowery language and repeated mantras, I _loved_ the Mechanoid Slave Survivor support group scene. It nailed the reasons I feel completely uncomfortable (and kind of eye-rolly) in those places.

    Rimmer realizing he was so much happier to just never think again struck a serious chord with me, but that probably has something to do with the reasons I know what a dodgy support group is like.

    I seriously want to see more praise for that bit of introspection, because they NAILED that.

  94. Uhh… perhaps I’m being really thick here… but what is the huge over-the-air update server ship doing out there? Just flying around waiting to run into a bunch of mechs on which to foist automatic updates? What is it? Who’s on board? Why are they there? How come they’re right there at that exact time, other than to provide a neat diversion for everyone to leg it back to Starbug?

    I feel like it went silly a bit too much. (MILF, “so cool”, the obvious references to “some piece of technology in Doug’s life went wrong and now it’s in Red Dwarf), the support meeting).

    We establish that there are mechs on board created for a whole diversity of purposes but the big fight is Kryten’s stereotype function – a “clean-off” with kitchen mops? (Wasn’t Kryten originally created to clean toilets??? Commander U-bend, Captian Bog-bot, etc…)

    Rimmerbot shows his transition to Mech by adopting Kryten’s voice and mannerisms, but on the ship are thousands of mechs with all kinds of accents? The “I want to be Kryten now” speech had so much potential – could’ve given some real, serious character development to Rimmer but it was played for laughs and to give Chris the chance to do his Kryten impression in an episode.

    Still, on the whole, liked it… Pacing issues, questionable choices about what should be funny and what should be serious aside. :)

  95. >Uhh… perhaps I’m being really thick here… but what is the huge over-the-air update server ship doing out there? Just flying around waiting to run into a bunch of mechs on which to foist automatic updates? What is it? Who’s on board? Why are they there? How come they’re right there at that exact time, other than to provide a neat diversion for everyone to leg it back to Starbug?]

    God from the machine.

    I think Doug is trolling us.

  96. As soon as I finished it, I thought to myself “Well that was pretty fucking fantastic. Now watch as everyone online hates it.”

    Imagine your surprise to find out that quite a lot of people really enjoyed it.

  97. Rimmerbot shows his transition to Mech by adopting Kryten’s voice and mannerisms, but on the ship are thousands of mechs with all kinds of accents? The “I want to be Kryten now” speech had so much potential – could’ve given some real, serious character development to Rimmer but it was played for laughs and to give Chris the chance to do his Kryten impression in an episode.

    The scene had jokes, but that speech about just wanting for contentment with no drive for power was most certainly not played for laughs. Rimmer’s the one who’s most satisfied to just let go of himself and be a mechanoid because it means being free of his neuroses and hang-ups. He can just mop and be happy mopping, nothing else matters.

    I fail to see how that’s not taking full emotional advantage of the situation. Yes, arguably you could’ve done more – you could always have done more of something – but what they did, they did very well.

    As someone who’s often wished they could just quit real life and substitute it with some kind of stupid, senseless, menial, blissfully ignorant state of complacency, Rimmer’s speech really got to me.

  98. I think the reason the Rimmer idea worked so well was that it was an unpredictable twist (in an episode that otherwise played out more or less as you would expect), but one that completely made sense for the character and treated him in a serious way (rather than just using his established personality as an excuse for gags). It was a return to the kind of sincere character work that the show doesn’t do so much these days.

  99. And Rimmer’s story in this episode is resolved by…. er….

  100. Oh, it was emotional, of course. I dunno, I just was watching it and feeling that the humour was draining away some gravitas instead of adding to it. Rimmer’s farewell in Holoship is a good example, for me, of how a serious scene can play with character-based humour and not seem conspicuous. I fully admit I’m being harsh on the show now. :)

  101. did anyone else find the subplot about all their personalities slowly being changed really kinda creepy? that was borderline zombification stuff right there

  102. I liked it when Lister said smee.

    I don’t know about that I thought it was a pretty piss poor attempt. Also Lister looks like at times his head is poking out of the mask which would make no sense considering its no longer his body.

    I liked this episode and didn’t want to leave but yet again rushed. I think this episode could have been a two parter and we could have explored the ship more and the trio’s fading personalities played on more. I hope for lots of deleted scenes.

    Yet again so many great ideas which are quickly moved on from………the sad story for me during this era of the series. ‘Close, but no cigar’ is the phrase that will sum up the XI and XII eras for me.

    I think they could return to this concept again as there is so much mileage left in it!

    Jay from the Inbetweeners was brief but good so I assume Will, Neil and Simon were the others behind him?

    When the light appeared I really hoped it was Holly some how coming to save the day. Ha.

    The black finish mech’s really made me want Kryten to go black again, really don’t like his faded out gray finish.

    Once again the opening sequence on Red Dwarf isn’t really needed and could have been done on Starbug getting us to the destination much quicker. Next series really needs an enlarged Starbug set like the old days. Yes yes I know there isn’t any room which is why I’d take aim at the audience space. Just remove Weinstein’s chair and there will be enough space for the midsection and a new landing bay set.

  103. Just watched the episode for a second time (this time not on a laptop) and enjoyed it more this time around, it still falls apart quite badly in the last ten minutes though. The “so cool” is some of the worst ever! And the the mop off and siliconia ship is massively rushed, but overall i enjoyed it more than first time, especially the first 20 minutes.

  104. I thought it was good. No better, no worse than much of Dwarf really.

    I’m not likely to make many friends with this post (and should I introduce myself before I go ahead and post it? I’m a model, by the way) but I often think I’m a bit of an outlier as a Red Dwarf fan in that I haven’t drawn this invisible line at 1997 (or 2009 if you’d prefer) because I don’t see those exalted first 36 episodes as unimpeachable. Truth be told, I don’t even LIKE some of the episodes from 1-6, and consider them to be just as guilty of cheap or disappointing jokes and resolutions as the show is accused of now. I don’t disagree that some of the criticisms of current Dwarf are valid, they are, but I just think the earlier stuff seems to get a free pass with the same sort of stuff.

    But along the way there are some sublime character moments, and yeah a lot of the episodes are fantastic all the way through, so I kept, and keep, watching.

    Sure, give me, “It does mean changing the bulb,” over, “What an absolute slag!” but equally please, please, PLEASE give me, “There’s an Andy Hitler!” over, “Quicker than it takes a Norwegian to buy ski boots!” I think what I’m saying is that we’re used to Dwarf existing in the past tense and, if I may be so bold, deifying it somewhat to the detriment of what we’re getting now. We’re still adjusting to Dwarf as an ongoing concern in the present. These new episodes are under far more scrutiny and, sometimes, a kind of defeatist negativity than any of the other episodes were when we first consumed them.

    For me, ‘Siliconia’ could easily fit into Series IV or V with no bother whatsoever. I liked a lot of it, didn’t think all of the jokes landed, but I think it was certainly a good slice of Red Dwarf. Not as good as Back to Reality, better than Demons and Angels. For me, Dwarf is as variable as it has always been.

    Did I mention I was a model?

    (I’m not a model)

    (Still haven’t worked out the cloche thing)

  105. And Rimmer’s story in this episode is resolved by…. er….

    He lets himself become more mech. becomes the baddy who ratted out lister because he isnt at that point giving in to being fully mech. Rimmer is then said to be fully mech and given a promotion in the MILFs ruling group and accepted as one of them.

    Then he is denying the siliconia upgrade that all the other droids get, as kryten refuses it for them, being a higher series mech than them, and orders rimmer to sit in the conversion chair along with the others and is mind swapped back into hard light hologramme body.

    And apparently then see deleted scenes for possibly more arc left out.

  106. Rimmerbot shows his transition to Mech by adopting Kryten’s voice and mannerisms, but on the ship are thousands of mechs with all kinds of accents? The “I want to be Kryten now” speech had so much potential – could’ve given some real, serious character development to Rimmer but it was played for laughs and to give Chris the chance to do his Kryten impression in an episode.

    The scene had jokes, but that speech about just wanting for contentment with no drive for power was most certainly not played for laughs. Rimmer’s the one who’s most satisfied to just let go of himself and be a mechanoid because it means being free of his neuroses and hang-ups. He can just mop and be happy mopping, nothing else matters.
    I fail to see how that’s not taking full emotional advantage of the situation. Yes, arguably you could’ve done more – you could always have done more of something – but what they did, they did very well.
    As someone who’s often wished they could just quit real life and substitute it with some kind of stupid, senseless, menial, blissfully ignorant state of complacency, Rimmer’s speech really got to me.

    I agree really good bit. It reminded me of Listers Squirell speech but actually played for more deeper emotion
    than that previous speech attempted in DNA.

  107. One thing that puzzled me in the opening scene – why is Cat waiting for that one shirt? The size of his wardrobe…

  108. He is the kind of guy that would be in the mood for a particular outfit though…

  109. when the clean-off starts, Lister’s personality has completely changed and he’s suddenly into cleaning, yet 5 minutes later when he’s back in his human body he’s more or less back to normal and he’s suddenly into playing guitar again?

    “The premise of the story?”

  110. >Then he is denying the siliconia upgrade that all the other droids get, as kryten refuses it for them, being a higher series mech than them, and orders rimmer to sit in the conversion chair along with the others and is mind swapped back into hard light hologramme body.

    At which point, Rimmer ceases to have any free will, and is no longer a protagonist in his own storyline.

  111. For a brief second I did think that Lister’s stand-in guitar was made out of a Cloche.

  112. I thought it was good. No better, no worse than much of Dwarf really.

    I’m not likely to make many friends with this post (and should I introduce myself before I go ahead and post it? I’m a model, by the way) but I often think I’m a bit of an outlier as a Red Dwarf fan in that I haven’t drawn this invisible line at 1997 (or 2009 if you’d prefer) because I don’t see those exalted first 36 episodes as unimpeachable. Truth be told, I don’t even LIKE some of the episodes from 1-6, and consider them to be just as guilty of cheap or disappointing jokes and resolutions as the show is accused of now. I don’t disagree that some of the criticisms of current Dwarf are valid, they are, but I just think the earlier stuff seems to get a free pass with the same sort of stuff.
    But along the way there are some sublime character moments, and yeah a lot of the episodes are fantastic all the way through, so I kept, and keep, watching.
    Sure, give me, “It does mean changing the bulb,” over, “What an absolute slag!” but equally please, please, PLEASE give me, “There’s an Andy Hitler!” over, “Quicker than it takes a Norwegian to buy ski boots!” I think what I’m saying is that we’re used to Dwarf existing in the past tense and, if I may be so bold, deifying it somewhat to the detriment of what we’re getting now. We’re still adjusting to Dwarf as an ongoing concern in the present. These new episodes are under far more scrutiny and, sometimes, a kind of defeatist negativity than any of the other episodes were when we first consumed them.
    For me, ‘Siliconia’ could easily fit into Series IV or V with no bother whatsoever. I liked a lot of it, didn’t think all of the jokes landed, but I think it was certainly a good slice of Red Dwarf. Not as good as Back to Reality, better than Demons and Angels. For me, Dwarf is as variable as it has always been.
    Did I mention I was a model?
    (I’m not a model)
    (Still haven’t worked out the cloche thing)

    Hello friend.

    I some times stick a finger in and pop the first 36 bubble myself, especially as the first series was finding its feet and only half good, and six a bit laboured with gag repetition forumla and a few structures of episodes are a bit off and then there is the callbacks of emo hawk.

    You dont mention for context “when” you first watched dwarf, so you sound like a later finder of all the 90s episodes as a batch. is that true? or not?

    In context of Siliconia its worth pointing out how rubbish Robert was at being kryten in series three by the time we got to compare him to series four to six kryten. I think craig needed longer to get used to prosthetic acting as kryten to really nail it better.

  113. Robert is fine in The Last Day. He’s only rubbish in Marooned, and he’s barely in it.

  114. One thing that puzzled me in the opening scene – why is Cat waiting for that one shirt? The size of his wardrobe…

    Because… Nipples.

  115. “You dont mention for context “when” you first watched dwarf, so you sound like a later finder of all the 90s episodes as a batch. is that true? or not?”

    No, I first watched IV go out in ’91, joining about half way through. I was just a bit too young to be watching it I think but my parents had seen III and loved it and thought it was clever enough to justify the ‘rude’. So I’ve been watching since then, really falling in love with it the following year.

    I was in my teens when VII and VIII went out, thinking VII was different but still good and VIII not being very good at all. I remember the break between VI and VII feeling way too long, I spent the break reading the novels having caught up on the I-IV episodes I’d missed during the repeats and the VHSes. So I’m definitely a pre-VII fan, just haven’t added the demarcation some fans have.

  116. Robert is fine in The Last Day. He’s only rubbish in Marooned, and he’s barely in it.

    I cant stand how he says “trerrrrribbbbleeee” in Polymorph. Yes im being harsh saying it’s all rubbish, thats just my point against when modern stuff is equally ALL rounded down.

  117. I enjoyed it much more on second viewing.

    There’s maybe a lesson there about not watching brand new episodes of sitcoms you’re faaaaar too emotionally invested in last thing at night, while utterly shattered, after a difficult day.

    There’s a lot of heart as well as fun in this one.

  118. It has a few problems that I think will expand with time, but I think the episode earned the “everybody is Kryten” plot without it feeling like a gimmick which I think was the most important thing for me. It wasn’t the funniest for sure but it made up for that in the drama stakes, in my books.

    I *really* liked the stuff with Rimmer accepting this version of himself that’s free of his neurosis (which you can put down to the effect the “software” is having on his mind), but it desperately needed a resolution even if it was just him transferring back and going “oh thank God!”. The fact we didn’t see him as himself again probably hurt this. But on the performance side, I thought all three of the other main cast did great jobs in their Kryten-esque roles and Craig’s physical performance near the end was great.

    When the main “MILF” was listing off the duties that mechanoids perform, I couldn’t help but think “oh that’s almost EXACTLY what is expected of most women” so I was surprised that didn’t pay-off with a comparison to gender roles, especially since Doug’s writing is partial to social commentary.

  119. >So I’m definitely a pre-VII fan, just haven’t added the demarcation some fans have.

    But you think VIII is ‘not very good at all’ so presumably it’s since returned to form. Sounds like your demarcation is just elsewhere.

    Not being snipey, I could just do without the “You’re wearing rose-tinted spectacles about I-VI. Red Dwarf has always been as inconsistent as it is now”. I can’t think of two episodes in Series I-Vi that have such a gulf in quality as, say, Dear Dave and Give & Take. When Red Dwarf is great, I’ll bang the drum for it just as loud as everyone else. I can’t in any good grace call Siliconia “great”, mind

  120. Some one made a point about them all doing “kryten” accents at some point. This was to show their personalities becoming more subservient full mech. Thats consistent with even VIII and kryten being reset and how he sounds then. Which i think most people got, despite the difficulty in spotting that on fist watch getting used to the cast in rubber and new modes of acting etc.

    Then there was the point that the other mechs dont have a kryten like voice. Is this explained within the tiny bits of mentions in this episode about the type of series the class system of mechs all are? were they all not the same series as kryten?

  121. I enjoyed this episode ! Not so many laughs but had a dramatic moment or two which I loved. I loved Rimmer slowly losing himself then Cat following. Ending could have been extended to see their reactions going back to normal. I also liked the bond Lister and Kryten still have.
    Professor Mamet made a lot of 4000 series :) plus the different Marks add some sense to Krysis for me.

  122. >. When Red Dwarf is great, I’ll bang the drum for it just as loud as everyone else.

    And you did Pete. For an episode you really liked in XI didnt you i seem to remember? but cant remember which one.
    That felt like they had won an oscar when I read your joy felt for it :-)

  123. Having them do the kryten voice/accent helped show when they were losing themselves.

    Problem is its one element of several other things in the episode so it stands out as abit odd that Rimmer,Lister and Cat are more kryten then all the other mechs onboard.

  124. After loving Cured so much, I’m really quite disappointed with Siliconia. I’ve avoided hype and spoilers (other than the promotional pic that was impossible to avoid) so I didn’t have -any- expectations.

    But yeah, that was … I don’t know, good idea on paper? It just didn’t seem to carry me along with it. It felt like there was too much being crammed in to one show so it all felt a little rushed and confusing. The idea of lower model mechs being used as slaves was nice, but beyond the “they’re hypocrites” it wasn’t used or expanded on. The big shiny space station came out of no-where and I still don’t see how being upgraded made the MILFs totally happy to let the RD crew escape. Equally why they’re a united society now, because even with a software upgrade the lower ‘class’ still have inferior hardware bodies.

    Maybe with some re-watches it’ll improve, but the laughs were no-where to be found, so can’t say I’m in any hurry to do so.

  125. But are Lister, Cat and Rimmer the only mechs on board who were previously human?

    I’d suggest it’s a precedent on the show that a mechanoid’s accent can change as their programming is altered. Kryten’s has changed, which you can put down to Robert’s performance and refining the character over time, but then you also have Spare Head 3 who has a very thick accent due to corruption plus the way Kryten’s whole demeanor changed without his guilt chip.

    The simple explanation for why the main cast were more like “Kryten” like than any other mechs on board, to me, is that they’re receiving their software installation (hence why their personalities are vanishing) whereas the rest have all broken their programming at some point.

  126. But are Lister, Cat and Rimmer the only mechs on board who were previously human?

    I’d suggest it’s a precedent on the show that a mechanoid’s accent can change as their programming is altered. Kryten’s has changed, which you can put down to Robert’s performance and refining the character over time, but then you also have Spare Head 3 who has a very thick accent due to corruption plus the way Kryten’s whole demeanor changed without his guilt chip.
    The simple explanation for why the main cast were more like “Kryten” like than any other mechs on board, to me, is that they’re receiving their software installation (hence why their personalities are vanishing) whereas the rest have all broken their programming at some point.

    Also if Lister, Rimmer and Cat’s mind’s are telling them to “become mech-like” then the main reference they have for this is Kryten. As they give into their programming, it makes sense for them to emulate Kryten’s mannerisms / voice.

  127. Eh, it certainly wasn’t the worse ep, but I didn’t love it. I’m somewhat baffled by how much love it’s getting. Maybe it’ll improve on rewatching. Rimmer deciding that he actually likes being Kryten is a good twist. I liked trying to grab the guitar only to end up being grabbed themselves. My web browser wanting to update during the episode was a nice touch, or possibly an worrying one (was my computer getting ideas?). I’m able to forgive the slightly deus ex machina of discovering “Silliconia” and all the upgrades, because I actually like that resolution. The mechs had gained independence by rebelling against oppression and servitude, only to end up creating a society that’s still based on oppression and servitude. So the upgrades to new ways of thinking to see they are all equal felt like a good resolution to me.

    >I think this is possibly the worst episode since Series VIII.

    >I think this is possibly the best episode since series V.

    I think my head is spinning.

    >Seems like story arcs longer than 28 minutes are forbidden. Think BtE has largely put Dave off the multiparter or real links between episodes.

    I think VII has put me off multiparters. I kinda assumed that the lack of links between episodes, at least within a series, wasn’t because of a decision by Dave but so that they can be more flexible with changing the episode order if needed.

    >Wow. These range of reactions. We’ve known for ages it’s “The one where everyone’s Kryten” and yet the reaction is still beyond comprehension at first with the final result in a lot of posts. “What? It’s like this?”

    I’ve don’t problem with the “everyone’s Kryten” aspect, it’s done well and as everyone as already said the masks are great, the way that they’re all turned into mechs but are still recognisably their individual characters (though maybe Lister less so). But I’d already seen the masks before I saw the episode, so it wasn’t so new to me. it’s just… I dunno, I can’t even pinpoint what it is, it just felt like there was something missing, but I’m not sure what. Just on first viewing, it felt more like a vehicle for the “everyone’s Kryten” concept. I’d have to watch it a few more times. By which point I could’ve changed my mind anyway.

    >The scene had jokes, but that speech about just wanting for contentment with no drive for power was most certainly not played for laughs.

    That speech really struck a chord with me too, but I felt it would’ve been more effective if it had been done in Rimmer’s own voice rather than a Kryten impression.

    >Uhh… perhaps I’m being really thick here… but what is the huge over-the-air update server ship doing out there? Just flying around waiting to run into a bunch of mechs on which to foist automatic updates? What is it? Who’s on board? Why are they there?

    My assumption was that maybe the mechs were following some sort of homing device to it?

  128. > But you think VIII is ‘not very good at all’ so presumably it’s since returned to form. Sounds like your demarcation is just elsewhere.

    Not at all, I just think of VIII as the worst series, I don’t see it as a watershed for a decline in quality. Basically, I don’t have a demarcation in that it’s just all Dwarf. By demarcation, I mean the idea that I-VI is untouchable and everything else afterwards isn’t. I don’t have that.

    > Not being snipey, I could just do without the “You’re wearing rose-tinted spectacles about I-VI. Red Dwarf has always been as inconsistent as it is now”. I can’t think of two episodes in Series I-Vi that have such a gulf in quality as, say, Dear Dave and Give & Take.

    That’s fine, but by the same token I can do without what I myself do sometimes perceive to be rose-tinted spectacles. Because I can find that gulf between Dear Dave and Give & Take at points in I-VI.

    I think it’s there between Future Echoes and Waiting for God in the same series, or between Marooned and Meltdown, which is why I myself DO sometimes see it as rose tinted specs. Like I said, I agree with some of the criticisms of X, XI and XII but I just sometimes don’t agree that they’re singled out for things I consider previous series to be guilty of as well.

    > When Red Dwarf is great, I’ll bang the drum for it just as loud as everyone else. I can’t in any good grace call Siliconia “great”, mind

    I don’t think Siliconia is especially ‘great’ either, but I also don’t think it’s much worse than a fair bit of Dwarf. I myself wasn’t being snipey either, Pete, and I’d hate to have come across that way – I was just sharing how I see Dwarf as a whole.

  129. But are Lister, Cat and Rimmer the only mechs on board who were previously human?

    Thats a very horror movie-esk idea.

  130. >does that mean that XII is what VII could have been if it hadn’t been crap? I’m definitely getting that vibe.

    That’s a good point. It’s too early too decide if it’s the vibe for XII as a whole, but “what VII could have been if it hadn’t been crap” is the vibe I get from this episode. Though in way could probably apply to most of the Dave era too.

    >Equally why they’re a united society now, because even with a software upgrade the lower ‘class’ still have inferior hardware bodies.

    I think the software update was so that they will see all mechs as equal, regardless of their hardware bodies.

  131. I enjoyed it much more on second viewing.

    There’s maybe a lesson there about not watching brand new episodes of sitcoms you’re faaaaar too emotionally invested in last thing at night, while utterly shattered, after a difficult day.

    Yeah, as much as I’m keen to see these new episodes as soon as they come out, I’m not sure having to stay up until past 11 on a school night is going to be the optimum way to enjoy each one.

    If that’s even going to be the standard release time for each one? I know there’s an incentive to keep viewers guessing about exactly when the episodes will go up, but having no clue when an episode is going to appear on a given day is frustrating, especially if it means staying up until almost midnight to watch it.

    (To put it another way, if episodes were debuting with their broadcast on Dave instead of on the app, and they gave the show a 10:45pm timeslot, I think it would be seen as pretty poor scheduling. But that’s essentially what they’re doing here.)

  132. Having thought about this ep some more: I think the first half is fine. The second half suffers because the crew losing their personalities is *such* a disturbing idea and there aren’t enough big laughs to balance it out (apart from the support group, which was definitely the highlight of the recording night.) The “clean-off” probably worked better on paper too. (I don’t really have a problem with the arrival of the upgrade ship – it’s already been foreshadowed, not least in the title of the ep, so it’s not really a deus ex machina.)

    Cutting down the ending is the ep’s biggest problem tho. The “soundproof airlock” gag is fine mid-scene, but it simply doesn’t work when it becomes the ep’s closer. Shades of the Dibbley Skutters in BITR. And we lose a great set piece that the audience really loved and helped provide a bit of closure that the broadcast version is sorely lacking.

    (Should I just describe the cut ending?)

  133. Yeah, it fucked me completely being up til 11:30pm. Can’t get the most from it whilst being desperate for sleep, that’s half the reason I’m hedging my bets about what I thought of it.

  134. Hey, at least the haven’t ballsed it up yet. At one point during XI I’m pretty sure I was 2 episodes in front of the TV broadcasts.

    It got put up on Sky at around 10:45 I think, UKTV Play probably a bit earlier, 10:30 is a decent time to aim at, just keep the same time every week from now on and I’m happy.

  135. @Chris Stokes – I understand where you’re coming from. There are certain jokes and moments in ‘classic’ Dwarf that I think very highly of, but I know it’s because of the time in my life that they take me back to rather than JUST their stand-alone quality as gags. Sometimes I’ll be watching new Dwarf and will think “I didn’t find that funny but it’s consistent with the type of joke the show makes”, rather than “this isn’t as good as old Dwarf”, if that makes sense?

    I also think that you could take a classic Dwarf episode out of existence and plonk into the Dave era as a new episode and it wouldn’t be received nearly as fondly by a large section of the fans, which is not to negate the opinions of anyone who doesn’t like the new stuff, here: that’s just a psychological tendency towards nostalgia that some people are oblivious to.

  136. Unpopular opinion: Cured was quite crap, and Siliconia was really, really good.

    Yeah, didn’t enjoy Cured much, but thought this was absolutely tremendous. Time will tell if it surpasses Give & Take for me, but other than the MILF joke, which was terrible, I can’t fault that at all. Beautiful, hilarious episode.

  137. I think 9:40 would make infinitely more sense. If we’re catering for people who missed the original Dave TX then that’s what UKTV Play’s bloody well for in the first place.

    They’re pissing us off with Taskmaster too. That’s getting LATE NITE with each passing week.

  138. That was one of, if not the, best Dave episodes for me. Up there with Trojan – tight, funny, interesting, and clever. No desperate puns, no overworked ‘thats as blank as a blank blanking in a blank blank’ gags. Maybe the ending was a bit of a flop – and it didn’t always make sense, but it was clever and funny.

    Plus – there was some pathos. It was almost moving! Great Cat lines too, and Rimmer was very Rimmery when he was Rimmering.

    I look forward to watching that many times. It will be considered a classic in years to come. There I said it….

  139. 10:30 is a decent time to aim at

    Although 9:30 (or even 10:00) would be a better time to aim at.

  140. I’m surprised we haven’t had much of a discussion on the use of “MILF” yet. I find that about a million times more problematic than “slag”. Unlike Dear Dave’s bone of contention, there is no dialect/context-softened interpretation of “MILF”, nor any argument to it, it’s just a deeply nasty word.

  141. Surely the joke is that it’s *not* a reference to that meaning of MILF, but just an unfortunate coincidence (that the mechanoids aren’t aware of) that the acronym is the same. There’s no nasty meaning behind the joke, I don’t think.

  142. Is ‘Mechanoid Intergalactic Liberation Front’ really any more problematic than ‘The Committee for the Liberation and Integration of Terrifying Organisms and their Rehabilitation Into Society’?

  143. The acknowledgment of it at all is kind of intrinsically approving, though. It’s such a seedy term.

  144. The mixed reaction has been very interesting to read. I personally loved it, though I’m probably a little biased seen as I was in the audience for this one. I’ve had 20 months to mull it all over in my head and get used to the shock of seeing the guys as mechs. At the time of recording I noted that it felt like an episode from Series IV and it would be an instant classic. After viewing the final version last night, I stand by that. The only disappointment was the cut ending. On the night, the extended ending was brilliant. They did about 3 takes of it and each time it got a bigger and better reaction. It was quite an epilogue to the episode and with a few more minutes to spare, they should’ve left it in. I hope it does end up in the deleted scenes. Having said that, I can get used to the ‘new’ ending, it’s no big deal.

    Overall, I’m more than satisfied with the finished episode. It feels like Red Dwarf going to old and new places at the same time. For me, very exciting stuff. It’s bold, bizarre, bonkers and brilliant.

  145. Well yes, because the word “clitoris” isn’t a demeaning word. The heart of “MILF” is ‘women who are mothers are so sexually repulsive by default, I am amazed enough to note that I’ve found one who isn’t, right guys’.

  146. The acknowledgment of it at all is kind of intrinsically approving, though. It’s such a seedy term.

    I understand what you mean, for sure.

    To refer back to something I mentioned earlier, this is kind of why I was expecting someone to point out that the duties expected of mechanoids are almost identical to those expected of women as it seemed like a good counter-point to the ‘MILF’ gag to have a joke with a pro-feminist leaning.

  147. The acknowledgment of it at all is kind of intrinsically approving, though. It’s such a seedy term.

    I suppose you could make a similar argument for the Trotters Independent Traders running gag in OFAH.

    I think the extent to which you find something like that offensive depends on the extent to which you think a word/acronym can be offensive in its own right, or whether it needs to have an offensive intent behind it to have that power.

  148. Well yes, because the word “clitoris” isn’t a demeaning word. The heart of “MILF” is ‘women who are mothers are so sexually repulsive by default, I am amazed enough to note that I’ve found one who isn’t, right guys’.

    I’ve never interpreted it in such strong terms – I’ve always thought of it as a crude synonym for ‘attractive older woman’.

  149. Well yes, because the word “clitoris” isn’t a demeaning word. The heart of “MILF” is ‘women who are mothers are so sexually repulsive by default, I am amazed enough to note that I’ve found one who isn’t, right guys’.

    I don’t know if I’ve ever encountered a use of the term that could be said to have included that implication.

  150. Some one made a point about them all doing “kryten” accents at some point. This was to show their personalities becoming more subservient full mech.

    The problem here for me is how inconsistent this all felt, particularly with Criag’s performance. One minute he was Lister, then he was a little mech inflected, then he was back to Lister again. If this consistently built throughout the episode then I think I could overlook some of the more jarring elements of the performance, but as seen on screen, the whole concept felt a little underdeveloped which is a shame.

  151. >(Should I just describe the cut ending?)

    yes please.

  152. When Kryten leaves, Cat and Rimmer enter (the broadcast edit literally cuts off mid-scene). They’re still doing silly Kryten walks and obeying any orders they’re given. Lister uses this to get them to provide backing vocals for “Don’t Be Ovulating Tonight”, then suggests “How about a sponge bath?” Roll credits.

  153. I absolutely loved this episode and enjoyed it a hell of a lot more than Cured. The episode opposite to DNA was always on the cards and it didn’t disappoint. Im waiting for the episode when monster of the week swaps the dwarfer’s personalities and you get Rimmer being the cat and kryten acting like Lister!

  154. When Kryten leaves, Cat and Rimmer enter (the broadcast edit literally cuts off mid-scene). They’re still doing silly Kryten walks and obeying any orders they’re given. Lister uses this to get them to provide backing vocals for “Don’t Be Ovulating Tonight”, then suggests “How about a sponge bath?” Roll credits.

    I’ve been looking forward to that ending, however, I’m now over the initial disappointment of it being cut and can happily readjust to the shorter ending. It would’ve been much better if it had been left in.

  155. Thank Christ we were spared ‘Don’t Be Ovulating Tonight’ at least.

  156. Well yes, because the word “clitoris” isn’t a demeaning word. The heart of “MILF” is ‘women who are mothers are so sexually repulsive by default, I am amazed enough to note that I’ve found one who isn’t, right guys’.

    I’ve never interpreted it in such strong terms – I’ve always thought of it as a crude synonym for ‘attractive older woman’.

    That’s kind of the point though, the caveat of it – ‘attractive *despite* being old/a mother’. It comes with a misogynistic baggage.

  157. , also not sure about the ‘Baby don’t be ovulating tonight’

    Interesting, as that’s a reference from the first novel. It’s identified as the track playing in the Red Dwarf Inaugural Disco, where Lister finds himself alone at the table, not realising that in seven months time everybody in the room with him will be dead.

  158. Thank Christ we were spared ‘Don’t Be Ovulating Tonight’ at least.

    It was funny. And a rare opportunity to hear Chris Barrie singing.

  159. That’s kind of the point though, the caveat of it – ‘attractive *despite* being old/a mother’. It comes with a misogynistic baggage.

    I think this might be one of those things that varies depending on your interpretation. I’ve always thought of it as just being an acknowledgment that you find someone attractive who isn’t in your immediate age group (and so would be a more likely target for your affections), like ‘toyboy’ for example.

  160. When Kryten leaves, Cat and Rimmer enter (the broadcast edit literally cuts off mid-scene). They’re still doing silly Kryten walks and obeying any orders they’re given. Lister uses this to get them to provide backing vocals for “Don’t Be Ovulating Tonight”, then suggests “How about a sponge bath?” Roll credits.

    honestly i think this would’ve vastly improved the episode, it sounds a lot more conclusive. hopefully it’ll show up in the deleted scenes on the DVD.

  161. > I don’t see it as a watershed for a decline in quality.

    I think it’s far more complicated than that. Do I think “Classic Dwarf” was far more consistently great than “Doug Dwarf?; absolutely yes. But do I think that Doug Dwarf is capable of being occasionally as great as Classic Dwarf? Absolutely, yes too.

    I just think it’s problematic to suggest that people are unfairly picking holes in new episodes while “Classic Dwarf” is hallowed turf. I’m not denying that “Classic Dwarf” doesn’t have its fair share of shit bits, but it hasn’t acquired that lofty status by accident. General consensus is that the great bits far outweigh the shit bits. For the most part, the ratio in “Doug Dwarf” occasionally tips the other way.

    I go into every episode primed (and desperately keen) to love it.

    I want an engaging well structured story with a beginning, middle and end, using a clever sci-fi idea or slant on an existing concept, while serving the main characters in a way which is true to them. With funny dialogue. And nice model shots.And good music.

    I know it’s incredibly difficult to satisfy me when it comes to Red Dwarf as I appreciate how incredibly difficult it must be to write/produce it. And yet it can be done incredibly well; and it was done incredibly well on, what I consider to be, a near-weekly basis. It’s just a sad fact that most of the times that’s happened has been watching the first 36 episodes, rather than the second 36. That’s not because I’m older, more jaded and bitter now. I mean, I *am* those things; but if it was *just* that, then I wouldn’t praise the show when it ticks all my boxes and a new episode effortlessly slides into my top 30.

    Anyway, apologies Chris. It touches a bit of a nerve when people question fans having unfairly negative opinions on episodes. Disliking a new episode is bad enough.

    >And you did Pete. For an episode you really liked in XI didnt you i seem to remember? but cant remember which one.
    That felt like they had won an oscar when I read your joy felt for it :-)

    It was Give & Take, Chris. Put me in a relentlessly good mood all week, that episode.

  162. Just noticed the mechanoid reading Mech’s Health magazine. Lovely.

  163. I know continuity isn’t exactly crucial to RD, but to go from one episode where Lister can actually play the guitar, to going back to being terrible in the next, without explanation, is pushing it even by RD standards. It makes me wonder if maybe there wasn’t originally an explanation as to why he was able to play the guitar in Cured that got cut, like maybe Hitler’s guitars are special ones that always makes the player sound good or something.

  164. Well the bit of guitar you actually hear him play there at the end doesn’t sound too bad. I took the joke about Kryten going to a sound proof airlock as, well, a joke.

  165. >(Should I just describe the cut ending?)

    yes please.

    rather he didn’t. though he did.

    When Kryten leaves, Cat and Rimmer enter (the broadcast edit literally cuts off mid-scene).

    best wait for the deleted scenes rather than spoil or use spoiler tags please next time?

  166. Oh come on, that’s a ridiculously pedantic spoiler warning request. It’s Red Dwarf offal.

  167. They’re pissing us off with Taskmaster too. That’s getting LATE NITE with each passing week.

    The last two weeks, Taskmaster’s been up on UKTV Play at five past ten.
    So a 9:45pm start for new Dwarf wouldn’t be unfair WOULD IT UKTV?

  168. Well the bit of guitar you actually hear him play there at the end doesn’t sound too bad. I took the joke about Kryten going to a sound proof airlock as, well, a joke.

    Sounds like a Rastabilly Skank type song, so he’s doing it justice.

  169. The first five minutes of this episode were glorious. First time, if I’m honest, that the show since returning has felt properly Dwarfy without needing to squint and look at it sideways.

    Beautiful, beautiful model work too, especially the guitar in space and Starbug from above while grabbing.

    Off to watch it for a second time…

  170. Oh come on, that’s a ridiculously pedantic spoiler warning request. It’s Red Dwarf offal.

    which should be in marked spoilers after all the hush over the episode content all this time

    some people would rather watch it fresh in the deleted scenes, just a courtesy you know?

  171. Oh come on, that’s a ridiculously pedantic spoiler warning request. It’s Red Dwarf offal.

    which should be in marked spoilers after all the hush over the episode content all this time
    some people would rather watch it fresh in the deleted scenes, just a courtesy you know?

    You’re assuming it’ll be in the deleted scenes. Don’t think a lot of XI alternative scenes really made it to the disc.

  172. Oh come on, that’s a ridiculously pedantic spoiler warning request. It’s Red Dwarf offal.

    which should be in marked spoilers after all the hush over the episode content all this time
    some people would rather watch it fresh in the deleted scenes, just a courtesy you know?
    You’re assuming it’ll be in the deleted scenes. Don’t think a lot of XI alternative scenes really made it to the disc.

    they didn’t which is frustrating perhaps they are saving it all for 4K addition with the audio commentaries

  173. G&T Admin

    I appreciate your point, Rameses, but I’m going with what appears to be the consensus, and indeed my own opinion, that any details from the audience recording are fair game (in the appropriately-paced threads) as soon as the episode is out.

  174. The first five minutes of this episode were glorious. First time, if I’m honest, that the show since returning has felt properly Dwarfy without needing to squint and look at it sideways.

    Beautiful, beautiful model work too, especially the guitar in space and Starbug from above while grabbing.
    Off to watch it for a second time…

    I’m wondering if that hatch on Starbug has been dug up from somewhere in Mike Tucker’s shed/ The Model Unit storage because they made one for VI I think but it got cut. It’s in the model shots section or the Tucker narrated behind the scenes doc or both on the DVD.

  175. I appreciate your point, Rameses, but I’m going with what appears to be the consensus, and indeed my own opinion, that any details from the audience recording are fair game (in the appropriately-paced threads) as soon as the episode is out.

    i’m going on the consensus that your using multiple accounts

    the symes has been hacked

    my cowboy shirt jumped off

    abandon shop

  176. On a second watch, I realise Kryten is non-specific about how much time has passed since the guitar was flushed. I could have sworn he said a year upon first viewing, but he actually just says “to the day”, no length of time specified.

    Also, others have mentioned how they were expecting Butler to show up and maybe even save the day…. I like that idea, but I realised that Butler would be an un-known character to the studio audience at this point and so wouldn’t have gotten a reaction.

  177. Rewatch complete. That was superb. Original to the point of bat-shit craziness and extremely enjoyable. One more voice added to the ‘best episode of the era’ side of the debate.

    I hope they market the “Robots of the world Unite” poster seen during the therapy session. I’d buy the cack out of that.

  178. G&T Admin

    Interesting, as that’s a reference from the first novel. It’s identified as the track playing in the Red Dwarf Inaugural Disco, where Lister finds himself alone at the table, not realising that in seven months time everybody in the room with him will be dead.

    This definitely rang a bell with me, but I double checked and it’s not mentioned, as far as I can see, in either the regular or Omnibus edition. The only song mentioned in that chapter is “Press Your Lumps Against Mine”, and I flicked through and couldn’t see “Ovulating” anywhere else. However, I Googled it and there are a fair few references to the song, and a couple specifically mentioning that it’s from Infinity.

    WHAT IS GOING ON?

  179. If every series was two episodes long, then out of the four Dave-era series, for me, this would be the best series. Impressive if you consider how hard it must be for Doug to keep coming up with plot ideas. And jokes.

  180. Oh, and I’m pretty sure the one person who claps in response to “It’s a pair of golfing slacks!” is also me.

  181. Now that you mention it, Baby Don’t Be Ovulating Tonight does sound familiar. I can hear Chris Barrie saying it in my head.

  182. Courtesy of an e-book version I downloaded, I have found the passage and compared with the omnibus edition. Page 211 of the omnibus edition in Chapter 23 of Infinity features the following:
    “The music playing was Hugo Lovepole’s sexy ballad Hey Baby, Don’t Be Ovulatin’ tonight. Kryten set his drink on the floor, stamped his right foot until he got in time with the smoochy beat, and began tap-dancing furiously.”

  183. Beat me to it. Top of page 211 in the Omnibus.

  184. This episode’s scope has already been compared to the novels. And, judging by the last shot of the title sequence, there is another potential similarity to IWCD coming up in this series. I wonder if Doug was doing this consciously or whatever.

  185. G&T Admin

    Mystery solved! Thanks, gents.

  186. And, judging by the last shot of the title sequence, there is another potential similarity to IWCD coming up in this series. I wonder if Doug was doing this consciously or whatever.

    As it’s the 30th anniversary series, it’s welcomed and allowed (and my god were there a lot of callbacks in Siliconia, I think only Blue comes close). If it continues into XIII it may be very annoying though.

  187. God there’s some gems in that Omnibus edition. I’m not sure where mine ended up, but it was in pretty poor shape – hoping my partner didn’t surreptitiously bin it.

    Anyway, Siliconia.

    I really liked it. The resolution was rather abrupt – it almost needed a couple of extra lines or a short scene or something, but other than that it was great.

    The crew losing their individual personalities was quite chilling, in a way. Reminded me somewhat of the “Android peeping tom” bit from ‘DNA’ – seeing beloved characters undergoing weird, uncharacteristic transformations always makes me shudder a bit – which was great. Red Dwarf almost always works well when it ramps up the horror vibes.

    James Buckley was underused, which was a shame – but I thought the mechanoid guest performances were pretty good overall. Obviously the sunglasses were there to save the makeup team a job, which I can’t really knock because they must have been completely snowed under. And anyway, it worked in the context.

    VFX and general production values were stellar. There’s a definite step up from XI in the FX shots, which is nice, and that overhead shot of Starbug and the grab arm thing worked really well. I’m quite tempted to get hold of the raw shots in HD and have a go at compositing them myself, although I do appreciate that’s completely illegal. Sorry in advance Doug.

    The only thing I’m a bit pissed off about is that I’m approximately 5000 miles from the nearest pub serving Leopard Lager.

  188. Re: the variable makeup – not sure if this is known, but it slipped out a while back – in a manner similar to the Back To Earth CGI, Millennium FX used a lot of students from the Neill Gorton prosthetics course to do all the extra mechanoids. The majority of the ones that weren’t the main cast looked bloody awful though, I’m sorry, though it looked as though the masks weren’t necessarily bespoke for most of them, so it’s not really the students’ faults. Some of the background ones were slip-on, rigid polyfoam Kryten heads I noticed. Also noticed that all the guest cast’s costumes consisted of motorbike leathers with cyclist elbow/kneepads and flimsy vacuformed chest plates. Can’t fault the ambition, but I don’t think they pulled it off on the budget they’d allocated. Was all a bit ‘cosplay’.

  189. Re: the variable makeup – not sure if this is known, but it slipped out a while back – in a manner similar to the Back To Earth CGI, Millennium FX used a lot of students from the Neill Gorton prosthetics course to do all the extra mechanoids. The majority of the ones that weren’t the main cast looked bloody awful though, I’m sorry, though it looked as though the masks weren’t necessarily bespoke for most of them, so it’s not really the students’ faults. Some of the background ones were slip-on, rigid polyfoam Kryten heads I noticed. Also noticed that all the guest cast’s costumes consisted of motorbike leathers with cyclist elbow/kneepads and flimsy vacuformed chest plates. Can’t fault the ambition, but I don’t think they pulled it off on the budget they’d allocated. Was all a bit ‘cosplay’.

    Yeah.

  190. That was brilliant! The ending was a bit deus-ex-machina-but-not-really-because-they-did-mention-siliconia-several-times, but overall the plot was engaging, the jokes were funny and there was some unexpected emotional gravitas from Rimmer when he was saying he wanted to become a mech.

    Much better than Cured, much more consistent. really enjoyed this episode.

    Can’t wait to read all the reasons you moany fucks think it was the worst episode since Pete, part Two

  191. They were lacking definition but I actually preferred the black costumes better than anything Kryten has had since Series VIII. They reminded me of series IV Kryten, with the crinkly arms and solid shoulders.

    I’m sure Robert would look less massive if they put him in some soft materials, especially around the middle, instead of the cyberman stuff.

  192. I don’t really have a problem with the varying costumes, Robert’s has changed so much over the years, after all. They kind of reminded me of the Red Dwarf USA design. And you can kind of explain it away with ‘different models’ etc etc.

  193. Yeah it is quite similar to Dwarf USA. I liked that one too apart from his head. If there’s a XIII I’d love them to do a new body cast of Robert and build up a more low profile Kryten costume for him. Softer breathable fabrics around the arms neck and gut for heat to escape, nice matt black finish.

    Also go on the Starbug set and cover it in oil and dirt, too clean.

  194. thought: was the Rimmer speech about wanting to be a fish a reference to The End, where he writes “I am a fish” 400 times on his exam paper? or is that just a coincidence

  195. Yeah it is quite similar to Dwarf USA. I liked that one too apart from his head. If there’s a XIII I’d love them to do a new body cast of Robert and build up a more low profile Kryten costume for him. Softer breathable fabrics around the arms neck and gut for heat to escape, nice matt black finish.

    Also go on the Starbug set and cover it in oil and dirt, too clean.

    THIS, this oh this. Yeah you could argue that Kryten wouldn’t put up with it being so dirty, but…it’d be fucking awesome if he went on a cleaning strike and/or we heard nothing about cleaning for a whole series, and especially didn’t see him mopping or ironing for once. ALSO can we never hear Lister’s socks mentioned ever again wtf???

  196. Don’t they say black is more slimming? so why does robert have a slightly more silver-ish outfit to the others.

  197. Siliconia was bloody marvellous. Probably not the funniest episode of the Dave era, but definitely the most engaging and coherent story. I’ve been hoping for a Kryten questions his lot episode for a while and finally here it is. There were a couple of very good dramatic character moments, which arguably we haven’t really seen to the same level since The Beginning or even Back to Earth. The one handed boys from the Dwarf gesture was great. Siliconia really felt like a confident episode that didn’t overdo any ideas or really have any sag whatsoever.

    One complaint is that UKTV Play’s scheduling for releasing the episode waas piss poor. Firstly, I expected it to be there waiting for me on Thursday night and then it wasn’t (which I understand the reasons for with Cured airing the same night), and then it’s released so late that I have to wait until the next evening to watch it. Not the end of the world I know, but it’s not exactly an ideal way to consume the programme.

  198. I’m intrigued as to what people think about the line ‘Les alert’…. :p

  199. I’m intrigued as to what people think about the line ‘Les alert’…. :p

    I thought it was crap haha

    And the “Les Col(ander) to Les Paul” if I heard that right.

  200. Why IS Kryten’s suit blue in XI and XII?! You say silver, I say blue.

    And yeah the bit with the collander guitar was shit.

    Les Alert for a laugh out of me because it sounds like Lesbian Alert and I’m twelve years old

  201. It’s silver but the colour grading often gives it a blue tint. Luckily we got a couple of nice non-blue scenes in Siliconia. :D

  202. Enjoying the Dwarfcast.

    re: listers hand. Its cut off, so he can do the “boys from the dwarf” but then realise he is only doing
    It with one hand. Does a double take when he realises.

    Thank makes two episodes in a row that have been “boys from the dwarf” ing!!!

  203. I’m sure Robert would look less massive if they put him in some soft materials, especially around the middle, instead of the cyberman stuff.

    After seeing the other guys in the same Kryten design, I totally agree. You can see how much weight it adds (and I mean beyond the fact that it’s a thick costume over the person’s frame) by comparing Chris Barrie in and out of his mech suit, as he looked far chunkier in it than you’d expect. Yet none of the mechanoid extras in the ep looked fat. It must be something about that particular design that bunches up about the midriff.

  204. I’m sure Robert would look less massive if they put him in some soft materials, especially around the middle, instead of the cyberman stuff.

    After seeing the other guys in the same Kryten design, I totally agree. You can see how much weight it adds (and I mean beyond the fact that it’s a thick costume over the person’s frame) by comparing Chris Barrie in and out of his mech suit, as he looked far chunkier in it than you’d expect. Yet none of the mechanoid extras in the ep looked fat. It must be something about that particular design that bunches up about the midriff.

    If you look at Robert irl, you’d be hard pressed to say he’s fat, a little bit of I’ve done quite well for myself and I’m enjoying my life belly, but that Kryten costume makes him look like he’s 25 stone.

  205. I think it’s because it’s padded for comfort through long days and has a cooling system plumbed into it. Take that away and you’re slowly murdering a middle aged man.

  206. Actual tubing like an astronaut? Interesting.

    Could get him one of those F1 cool vests, that plus not having that fifth of your body covered in multilayered foam would be pretty cool.

  207. Opinions opinions opinions MILF.
    Opinions opinions Krysis.
    Opinions beginning. Opinions end.
    All in all, opinions.

  208. I’ve finally had a chance to revisit the episode (this time sober) and feel that I was a little harsh last time. I’m usually such a loving drunk so I’m surprised it brought the hatred out in me haha. I don’t like the episode, everything with the mechanoids just feels wrong. Perhaps because it’s not the story I wanted to see and I had a different expectations for how the episode should have played out prior to seeing it. Oh well, it’s a very flawed episode but on rewatching it I’ve found a few things to enjoy. It’s my least favourite of the Dave era, yes even lower than Dear Dave (I think!!), but hopefully it’ll improve with further rewatches. With Cured, I must have watched that 10 times in a week, with Siliconia, I have no desire to revisit it.

  209. Excuse a longtime lurker for popping up and interjecting, but surely the berets and shades are a reference to the Black Panthers? What with the whole liberation angle and all.

    Also, for detractors of this episode, you’re possibly not going to like the proposed cover on Amazon for the S12 dvd…

  210. Don’t they say black is more slimming? so why does robert have a slightly more silver-ish outfit to the others.

    I thought it might be a joke, that Kryten has gone grey with age.

  211. How did they just happen to have 3 mech bodies on standby that looked exactly (for the most part) like the 3 people they were gonna transfer into them? I liked the episode overall. The ending could have done with the guys sitting round discussing what had just happened and reflecting on it with a big joke at the end to go into the credits. Overall with the Dave era I’m finding that it is trying but more often than not it’s failing to hit that sweet spot. I will say that I did enjoy the model work in this episode. Some of the best model work in the shows history really. I can still tell the scenes where they are clearly zooming out on a static image of Starbug to make it look like it’s flying away. It always jars with me when you consider how much effort they put into other model shots. I still don’t like the legs being folded up as the ship flies around either. Just looks really off.

  212. >Excuse a longtime lurker for popping up and interjecting, but surely the berets and shades are a reference to the Black Panthers?

    Indeed. Haven’t these people seen Forrest Gump?

  213. Third watch. 52 inch television at my dads. HD sky download.
    Armed with knowledge of explained plot reasoning, and desensitised a little to the experience of them all in masks.
    I can see listers eyes.

    wow what a brilliant episode of red dwarf. Love it.

    My 70 year old dad even laughed at MILF and i dont think he really knows why.
    (I didnt explain it)

  214. Ok, I watched it again.

    I hate it even more!

    Well, to be precise; I remembered that I rather liked the first couple of scenes. But then it goes a bit wonky. And then it goes a bit shit.

    The MILF thing. It’s a crappy term with awkward connotations popularised by a teen movie 18 years ago. And it doesn’t even bloody work. It’s used about 4 times and pluralised almost every time as “MILFs” (which, bearing in mind, the acronym is for a group of droids and *not* an individual mother, doesn’t even fucking work logically within that context). It’s not even comparable to CLITORIS. That’s a word (not an acronym for something else). It’s said *once* in Polymorph and is used to puncture the pomposity of Rimmer’s peacenik persona.

    I have huge problems with the second half of the episode. Pretty much *everything* after the therapy scene. It seems to turn into a slightly camp sci-fi drama rather than a sitcom. There are attempts at humour, but it seems to have other priorities. Unfortunately, I just don’t think the execution is good enough to warrant such a shift. The scene with Lister, Rimmer and Cat in jail is just *odd*. I realise it’s supposed to be unsettling (although surely it’s *supposed* to be funny?) but it just comes off as hurried. Rimmer and Cat are swiftly zombified, whereas Lister resorts to spouting “Kryten sayings” (they never flow naturally and just seen shoe-horned in).

    Frankly, the rest of it reminds me of a shit episode of Doctor Who. Lots of running around and then a sonic screwdriver saves the day.

    The “very cool” stuff is baffling and unfunny the first time, it’s then repeated again and again as if it’s some incredibly clever running joke. It isn’t.

    The mop fight is just…Series VIII bad. And the ending is cack, and resolves a story element that was introduced only about five minutes previously. The Rimmer stuff could have been interesting but it’s thrown in purely to make Lister the lone hero and then hastily forgotten.

    And if I want to be really picky; it pisses me off how Silicon Heaven is now Siliconia.

    Bleugh.

  215. Siliconia as i read the episode is more Old Testament and Zionism the promised land.
    Given the earlier series and mark numbering of these mechanoids makes total sense to me that they are an earlier belief system than heaven and hell.

  216. rewatching it, i noticed that when they all go to be turned back into humans, Lister gets in the chair immediately, whilst Cat and Rimmer are more reluctant about it. dunno if that was intentional or if it was supposed to show that Lister’s the only one who’s still opposed to staying a mechanoid.

    also whilst rewatching it, i noticed that the mopfight scene is completely pointless. the idea of Krytens fighting with mops is sort of funny, but it doesn’t really go anywhere and despite it being called a “clean-off to the death” the match somehow ends before either of them are killed? how can you even be cleaned to death?

  217. I still don’t see how being upgraded made the MILFs totally happy to let the RD crew escape. Equally why they’re a united society now, because even with a software upgrade the lower ‘class’ still have inferior hardware bodies.

    They dont, its subtle but look at james buckleys goodbye scene On the monitor their mech bodies have been upgraded too,
    must be spare parts from the upgrade station too. So you’ve evidence That they up date bodies, and what we know of silicon heaven in krytens programming, means they’ve all moved on from Siliconia beliefs, and the even earlier models that believe nothing much.

  218. The therapy session is a scene i could have done without tbh.

  219. also whilst rewatching it, i noticed that the mopfight scene is completely pointless. the idea of Krytens fighting with mops is sort of funny, but it doesn’t really go anywhere and despite it being called a “clean-off to the death” the match somehow ends before either of them are killed? how can you even be cleaned to death?

    Wasn’t it said that the loser was gonna be flushed into space?

  220. Wasn’t it said that the loser was gonna be flushed into space?

    Yeah eventually, after the fight, but I’m almost certain they’d called it a “fight to the death” at least once, which isn’t what it was

  221. I wonder if back around the series 5 and 6 times whether Rob and Doug would actually have made it a fight with mop sticks rather then a clean off.

  222. i think this episode suffered from being overhyped.

    i think siliconia was a solid episode, i just came into it so excited expecting really great things and i didnt quite live up to that hype, like for example i was really looking forward too seeing James Buckleys performance only to fidn out hes in it for around 3 minutes!

    I enjoyed the episode it was great but i didnt like it as much as cured and i must admit i was slightly disapointed.

  223. i still think the last ten minutes are a real mess, and i would say i am more forgiving with Dwarf in General and Dave Era Dwarf than Most ( i thought Can of worms was the weakest by far in XI but by no means a Terrible episode, and didn’t find it offensively bad ) but the final act of Siliconia just does not sit well with me at all even after a couple of watches, great ideas poorly executed , i already know for a fact when i sit down with the family and watch it on Thursday they will ask ” what was the other spaceship and the bright light about at the end” awesome ideas just poorly explained and executed.

    i think the jump from ” they are in prison ” to ” oh yeah we can dismantle and go through ” to ” all rebuilt lets go” is far to quick, i understand it has to be for what it going on but it’s another example of how this episode could have been really spectacular with a bit more breathing room.

    the problem is if Doug makes an episode a 2 parter people will Riot. if it is 1 episode then there is too much going on.

  224. There is stuff in the episode that could probably be taken out and it would give at least a little more time to other things but for whatever reason Doug seems to want to explore alot of things in so little time.

    I don’t think we would get an episode like Dimension jump today because its fairly simplistic since ace turns up, helps them and then leaves, while i think today doug would throw in some other big idea at the end to make it seem alot bigger and adventurous.

  225. I don’t think it needed to be a two-parter, it just needs someone to edit Doug’s scripts. More ideas than time. Pick one or two and give them justice, rather than running past a bunch of them.

  226. For me there are too many jokes that feel like jokes to meet a quota and that leads to timing issues, in the Dave era there are jokes and situations that with little work could be put in something like Not Going Out because they’re written as jokes, they’re outside of the story and could be placed in any episode.

    That for me is the major difference between Dave Dwarf and Classic Dwarf, jokes used to come mostly from situations and character interaction in a conversational style. Sit before com, now it’s more com before sit for me, and they don’t move the story on so we get rushed elements and no endings.

    Similar story with the Science too, increasingly we just have one moment with Kryten vomiting out something that makes sense (mostly) and then we move on, and sometimes we need more exposition because we end up with convenient endings rather than fulfilling ones.

    There’s also a lot of taking the piss out of a group or thing, which used to be done obviously, but a lot more subtly than now.

    I have a very complex relationship with Dave Dwarf. It’s not bad really, there are some stinkers, but overall it’s probably one of the best comedies about at the moment, but the quality and amount of scripted comedy has drastically reduced since the 90s so that’s not saying as much as it used to.

    I want it to continue in the hope it rediscovers the groove it made in the early 90’s, but every episode it doesn’t makes me a little bit sad.

  227. Personally i don’t feel that Doug writing is confident, i feel doug has found a comfortable groove that helps him deliver newer fresher material but there are moments when something is abit more sillier then it needs to be and just gives off the impression Doug is worried it isn’t funny enough.

  228. The episode only runs to about 27 minutes, so it’s not like they needed to take anything out. Its most gaping flaw is that the Rimmer-wants-to-stay-a-mech plot is abruptly abandoned, and we never even see him (or the Cat) returned to normal.

    That deleted ending which I keep banging on about would have really helped, as would changing the scene where Kryten changes them back so it doesn’t abruptly end before he actually puts them back in their original bodies.

  229. Didn’t Chris Barrie literally collapse in his Kryten getup on one of the prefilming days? Think the BFI podcast mentions it. May explain a few gaps.

  230. Didn’t Chris Barrie literally collapse in his Kryten getup on one of the prefilming days? Think the BFI podcast mentions it. May explain a few gaps.

    It was mentioned at the recording that Chris had been ill during the week and there were a few ‘gaps’, although it wasn’t clarified that the Krytenification was the cause of it. This is presumably the stuff they had to go back and do later and necessitated moving the audience night for Skipper, but I can’t see anything in the finished episode that we didn’t see on the night.

    It’s really odd – they showed us the VT of Kryten putting the Krytenified others back under the hairdryers, which ended really abruptly, and then they started filming the final scene (Rusty’s farewell was on a VT like everything else James Buckley did, everything else was live in the studio). I remember very clearly thinking that there was obviously more to that scene and it must be one of the missing bits Doug mentioned… but unless they filmed it later then decided to cut it, there wasn’t.

  231. The episode only runs to about 27 minutes, so it’s not like they needed to take anything out. Its most gaping flaw is that the Rimmer-wants-to-stay-a-mech plot is abruptly abandoned, and we never even see him (or the Cat) returned to normal.

    I think this is my main problem with Siliconia, but I’ve only just finished watching and am still feeling bit bewildered by it (the wine definitely hasn’t helped). It felt like there was no satisfying resolution, and if I’m being honest, I didn’t really follow what happened at the end (probably the wine again, though).

    I’ve no idea what to make of this episode right now – it looked spectacular, but to me was much less funny than Cured (I’ve not had a chance to read all the above comments yet, but I’m getting the impression that this is quite a divisive episode). It had shades of Animal Farm, which was quite interesting. Also, the name Rusty made me think of Starlight Express – I can’t remember much about the story since it was about 1985 when I saw it, but wasn’t ‘Starlight Express’ some kind of train heaven or god-like entity, a bit like Siliconia is to the mechanoids? Also, DJJ was in it too, so possible reference?

    Anyway, a rewatch with a clear head is definitely in order.

  232. > It’s used about 4 times and pluralised almost every time as “MILFs” (which, bearing in mind, the acronym is for a group of droids and *not* an individual mother, doesn’t even fucking work logically within that context).

    Not sure I’ve understood you correctly but if I have then surely it’s no different than members of the Women’s Royal Naval Service being referred to as Wrens, or… well actually that’s the only example I can think of but there must be others. “MILFs” makes sense to me anyway, and is exactly the kind of thing that would really bug me if it didn’t.

    Like CB3 I was a bit pissed up on booze when I watched Siliconia on Thursday night. I enjoyed it very much but need to see it again before I form a proper opinion. Now having read all the comments here (but not yet listened to the Dwarfcast) I feel quite apprehensive about watching it again!

  233. should have been a two-parter but not a series vii/viii two-sharter

    this episode makes me miss black kryten
    enough of this washed out gray

  234. Didn’t Chris Barrie literally collapse in his Kryten getup on one of the prefilming days? Think the BFI podcast mentions it. May explain a few gaps.

    Correct me if I’m wrong but I think that we ever actually see Chris Barrie’s face in the mop-off sequence. We see “Rimmer” but it’s always from behind / the side. It makes me think that it’s a stand in, not Chris, playing him – I don’t think he gets any lines in that scene. If CB was off ill for this big location shoot, any major plot point’s he had would be next to impossible to do as pick ups later. Might explain why Rimmer’s story feels a bit unfinished – that CB was ill for the scenes that wrapped them up.

  235. We really need a ‘Dave Soup’ book.

  236. You can actually see the evidence of where he disappears in the confrontation scene before it – the wides only include Rimmer once, the rest of the time he’s cropped out, like it was during the filming of that scene. You definitely don’t see him enter. This is also the scene where Craig Charles’s mask is falling off around the forehead and lips, suggesting a delay and/or a rush.

  237. I suspect the behind-the-scenes doc on the XII DVD will be rather more interesting than XI’s.

  238. Is Chris wearing krytens costume whenever he is on screen? It looks like krytons from every detail while cats and listers don’t look the same.

  239. >Not sure I’ve understood you correctly but if I have then surely it’s no different than members of the Women’s Royal Naval Service being referred to as Wrens

    I guess. Although the leap to call them MILFs is made by Kryten. And then they refer to themselves as that…until one of them refers to them as *The* MILF (no plural). I guess my big problem was that if you don’t find it funny that time the first time it’s said, you certainly wont the 4th. That’s the danger of referring to a group of characters with a joke name; the other being that the word “milf” isn’t inherently funny unless you know what it *also* stands for (and even then, it’s debatable whether it’s actually funny and isn’t such crap ‘bro’ humour).

    I’m boring myself now. As you were.

  240. One might be tempted to suggest that men are more likely to know what a MILF is than a clitoris! Even so, I guess a further problem is that we’d already heard it at least eight times before we heard it in the episode, which kind of means the joke had worn thin before it was even uttered by a character in the show. It was funny the first time it was said in the show simply because it was funny to hear it said by Kryten, a little bit like how “Captain Bollocks” was made funnier because of Robert’s delivery and the unexpectedness of the outburst. Further times the MILF gag wasn’t funny although I don’t necessarily think they were written expecting a huge laugh each time.

    I’ve watched Siliconia twice now and, whilst I’m prepared to give it a third time, I’m actually not convinced this is going to be an episode that makes it into my Dave-era Top 20. I can see, objectively, that it’s not a bad episode… I just haven’t enjoyed it all that much and after the wonderful start that was Cured, it’s a shame I just didn’t feel the same this week.

  241. Is Chris wearing krytens costume whenever he is on screen? It looks like krytons from every detail while cats and listers don’t look the same.

    For me it looked like Chris is wearing a current Kryten, but the one with the flip open nipple nuts from Twentica, you can see that the lower breast panels are separate from the shell, whereas Robert’s are one piece.

    Danny and Craig are wearing older costumes, BtE vintage I believe.

  242. We know there are at least 2 full XI costumes anyway as one was painted red for Krysis.

  243. I’m actually not convinced this is going to be an episode that makes it into my Dave-era Top 20.

    When you consider that Dave have only made 21 episodes, that’s pretty darn bad.

  244. When you consider that Dave have only made 21 episodes, that’s pretty darn bad.

    Indeed. I almost made it “Top 19” to account for Dear Dave, but I think I actually preferred that to Siliconia on first watch. I will give it another couple of chances as I do watch each ep multiple times, but it just hasn’t done it for me just yet.

    (Of course, there are four as-yet-unseen episodes, so it might make Top 20 by default still!)

  245. So I finally got around to a second watch. Knowing what was coming meant I was able to have a little more fun with it. I think the first time, although I’d seen the main publicity shot I didn’t know anything else about the episode. So the whole thing about them being captured, mech’ed and losing their personalities was all a bit of a shock.

    A few things still bug me. I wish Chris wasn’t doing his Kryten impression. It really breaks the immersion for me. It wasn’t Rimmer becoming a mech, it was Chris doing an impression. Half the impact of the moving speech was lost on me as I was too busy getting wound up why he was doing an accent and no-one else was.

    Still hated the ‘so cool’ chanting. Not cool. Annoying and distracting.

    Still dislike how we go from mortal peril and the end of the crew to ‘everything is ok again’, waaaay too quickly.

    So I don’t hate it anymore, but I don’t love it yet.

  246. So Rimmer Mech has a H. Is Rimmer mech a hard light hologram? If so why did they download a mind swap into a hollogramatic mech body? Not just change his image and software. He’s not a hologram surely, they just copied his look. The cat mech has cat teeth also, both of which work on screen for me, So in even more convinced Lister needed some dreadlock cables hanging out of the back of his head. The lister mech is under designed compared to the other two.

  247. Dreadlock cables! Brilliant idea!

  248. I assumed they created mech bodies for rimmer,lister and cat based on their appearances.

    3D printing or whatever.

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